"China currently accounts for 93 percent of production of so-called rare earth elements — and more than 99 percent of the output for two of these elements, dysprosium and terbium, vital for a wide range of green energy technologies and military applications like missiles."
"In each of the last three years, China has reduced the amount of rare earths that can be exported. This year’s export quotas are on track to be the smallest yet. But what is really starting to alarm Western governments and multinationals alike is the possibility that exports
will be further restricted. "
As the author mentions the idea behind China's policy with important rare minerals is like the Middle East and oil. This strikes me as interesting for a few reasons: a) strategically this allows China charge a premium upon companies that want to use the minerals, b) consequently this allows Chian more control over the development of technologies that use the minerals, and c) economically because of China's relative strength in this market can essentially charge "rents" that prices that are not subject to market valuation further raising prices.
This is interesting. China's control over rare minerals parallels the early United States' access to wide resources. There is not only the possibility of relative self sufficiency but also the ability to bolster one's economy by charging a premium on others.